PARENTS have been given a dire warning their children face slower brain development at schools in areas polluted with noise.
In a new study, scientists tested the effects of noise pollution on children’s development and the results were shocking.
Researchers at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health conducted an experiment to compare children’s cognitive development and noise pollution.
Results showed that students learning in louder environments had slower development in their attention and working memory.
Professor Foraster said: “The finding suggests that noise peaks inside the classroom may be more disruptive to neurodevelopment than the average decibel level.
“This is important because it supports the hypothesis that noise characteristics may be more influential than average noise levels.”
Attention is the ability to focus on a task for a long period of time and working memory is what we use to store the information we gather whilst focusing.
Professor Maria Foraster and her colleagues tested 2,680 children aged between 7-10 from 38 schools.
Each student sat cognitive tests four times during the academic year and researchers compared the results with the level of noise measured outside the schools and playgrounds.
The experiment concluded there was a direct link between high outdoor noise levels and poorer student performance in all the cognitive tests across the year.
Researchers discovered that an increase by five decibels in outdoor noise level reduced development of the average complex working memory by just over 23%.
It also reduced average working memory by just over 11% and attention development by almost 5%.
Higher noise levels within the classroom were also shown to slow cognitive development displayed in the tests.